Spins a web, any size
Having decided to fill in the smoke cloud behind Spiderman, it quickly dawned on me just what a mammoth task that was going to be. If you don't own a Dremel, you probably don't realise just what a small contact patch an engraving bit has. Take a quick look at my Engraving How To article
to get an idea.
Alternatively, try this simple exercise: take a sheet of A4 paper and a regular pencil. Now attempt to shade the entire sheet to the point where it is solid colour ie no individual pencil marks are visible. That is pretty much what I was about to attempt to do.
Here is how it progress. I can already hear some readers asking "why didn't you just use some really fine sandpaper or something instead?" Engraving a case is more than just stripping off the black anodising in the right places. While using sandpaper for large areas would technically fill in these areas in a relatively short amount of time, there are two drawbacks.
Firstly, it would not be easy to stay "inside the lines", even using eschewing sandpaper for a Dremel sanding disc. Secondly, the end result would be very flat. We're talking about a smoke cloud here, not a puddle of water. To give the illusion of depth, engraving is the only way to go. It may be hours and hours of extra work, but I am able to subtlely vary the depth of my engravings so that no matter what angle you give the case from, there will always be areas that catch the light and shine.
Through the magic of the Interweb, we can fast forward to the point where I have completed the entire area. The work doesn't stop there, oh no. The edges of my cloud are still rough and require further outlining.
Here is a close-up. On the left, you can see the raw finish. At a distance, it might look OK but I know myself that I can do better. On the right is the new & improved version with outlining - much better! Now, to apply this to the entire design...
Done. I have to say, it's looking really
sweet at this point. Having said that, I have only done the side panel so far...